Immunodiagnosis and Immunotherapy of Tetanus and Botulinum Neurotoxins

  • J. L. Middlebrook
  • J. E. Brown
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 195)

Abstract

Tetanus and botulism are diseases or poisonings that are highly dramatic in their presentations. They are almost always life threatening and therefore command attention and concern by those around the victim. In earlier times help might have been sought from the shaman or witch doctor, whose spells or potions provided little comfort from the symptoms and eventual death. As modern medicine developed in the last two centuries even well-trained physicians were unable to do much more than a shaman until the advent of immunotherapy in the late 1800s and immunization in the 1920s. Little has changed since then, and we still depend on active immunity or passive immunotherapy to treat both of these highly dangerous poisonings. Immunological techniques and reagents also provide the means of toxin identification, and a timely and definitive diagnosis therefore depends heavily on their use. This chapter reviews the past and current literature on vaccines and various antibody-based products for treatment or prevention of poisonings by both botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins. We also review the techniques employed for their detection and identification.

Keywords

Fermentation Codon Titration Tuberculosis Polysaccharide 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Middlebrook
    • 1
  • J. E. Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Toxinology DivisionU.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious DiseasesFrederickUSA

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